In an entrepreneurial business you also learn how to approach problems differently, and you are challenged by constantly finding alternative solutions. It’s hard work, and you’re driven to make the most out of your time, but that gives me a wider appreciation for the value of an hour, and the different avenues that exist for finding solutions.
What are your favourite things to do outside of work?
I am very family oriented and spend all my time with my family. I love hanging out with my teenage daughter (in between all of her social activities of course) or having family barbecues and going on picnics, and just enjoying each other’s company.
I am also a great lover of coffee – some might call it an addiction but I say a rich appreciation! – so savouring a really great coffee and relaxing with a book outdoors is where you’ll often find me between family affairs.
I never have time as a parent but if I did I would go roller skating… I still have my original roller skates from my teens and I still plan to use them again one day!
What is the best career advice you’ve been given?
I was given the best advice from my grandfathers. My mother’s father always said, “life and career is a long game, and it’s all about strategy, like a game of chess. Never play the quickest, easiest game – fool’s mate – it may be the fastest way to check mate, as it only capitalises on a few mistakes of the opponent, but it’s an unsatisfactory easy win. Instead, use skewers, which is the longest game, but takes the most skill and forces your opponent to move their most valuable piece.
The other best advice was from my other grandfather. In 1967, after Australia and Turkey signed a bilateral agreement for assisted migration, my family was on the first flight here and one of the first Turkish families to set foot in Australia. My grandfather who was a heavyweight wrestling champion, left his career back home in Turkey and bought his family here. He got a job helping Turkish families adapt to their new lives in Australia and was such a great example to so many. He was the first Australian-Turk ever to walk, holding both flags, in the ANZAC dawn service. That was quite a controversial move at the time, but he always said “Your forward thinking may face barriers, but there will be a time when everyone else will catch up. In the meantime, never stop believing in yourself while you wait for everyone else to catch up.”
What advice would you offer others?
There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking. So never worry about making mistakes – a failure is as much a learning curve as is success. The main thing is not to quit.
If you have a vision that nobody else can see this doesn’t mean you are wrong. It just means you are creating the change instead of waiting for it to come to you, and that takes a lot of courage. So do not suppress your thoughts thinking you may be judged by others, but rather help others to think beyond their comfort zones.
What emerging technology are you excited about?
Technology is evolving at such a fast pace that I’m not even sure if what I am excited about is old news or still current! But I am excited about blockchain and what changes it will be bringing into our lives. Not in relation to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but more towards the concept of adding data to information and prevention of changing data and what impact it will have in the way we do things in the future. It creates greater transparency, enhanced security and speed in transactions, and it has no borders. I believe It will be the next major impact on the financial services and change it completely. I’m very excited to hopefully be a part of that change.
Where do you live and what do you like about it?
I live in Roselands with my family. I love it there as it has a great eclectic mix of people. It has a different vibrancy with lots of small authentic restaurants offering different cuisines.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would love to live in Turkey for the summer and then be back for the summer in Australia.
But I wouldn’t mind changing destinations and experiencing other cultures. I love change and would love to live in different countries a few months at a time and experience the lifestyle. But obviously am very biased about Turkey as my parents are there.
What was the best holiday you’ve ever taken?
My favourite holiday would be my last holiday with my family. I hadn’t been on one for over ten years, so even though it wasn’t anything exotic – just to Melbourne – it was great to get away for the weekend and relax with people so close to my heart.
If you could wake up one day magically able to play any sport perfectly which would you choose and why?
I used to be Western Suburb athletics champion throughout high school in long distance running. You probably couldn’t tell now but I loved that – if I could continue that and represent Australia and the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics that would be an amazing experience.